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A half game out of first place. An intense battle with Larry Fitzgerald and Patrick Peterson coming up. A need to rebound following a disappointing loss to Washington. A team in need of some serious progression this season.
The work week must be intense at Winter Park this week, right? Well, probably, but there is also an abundance of TMZ-type stories going on with these Vikings and I thought we’d better just get them out there in the open here at VT, even though I would rather just avoid them.
The Vikings hit a bump in the road last week, as RGIII and the Redskins delivered them their second loss of 2012, but they head home this week to take on a very troubled Arizona Cardinals team (also 4-2). Percy Harvin and company are looking to rebound in a big way, so lets take a look at what we can expect from this matchup.
That’s right ya’ll, a Wizard Of Oz reference in the title. Oh, snap! Hey Judy Garland was from Minnesota, so it fits, stop scoffing!
Anyways, as I am sure you all have seen by now (sorry, computer bugs struck this week) Jerome Simpson has made it clear that he was not happy about Leslie Frazier’s decision to keep him out of last Sunday’s game against the Redskins.
I expected to read quotes about Simpson wishing he could have helped lift his team to victory, how he could have helped stretch the field and open up the run game.
“You lose $60,000 you’d be mad, too,” is instead the Simpson quote making the rounds, referencing the fact that he lost his weekly roster bonus by not being active.
While Simpson said more than just that and said he and Frazier are now on the same page, Simpson’s quote bothered me more from a philosophical standpoint. Simpson didn’t lose anything at all, in reality, and his words hint that maybe he hasn’t learned the lessons he claimed he has.
Simpson didn’t earn his weekly roster bonus because the head coach, who can deactivate him any week for any reason, chose to sit him. That weekly roster bonus is a result of the way his contract was written. The contract was written that way because Simpson was sitting on the free agent shelf long after the free agency period opened, largely due to concerns about how long his suspension would be. His suspension was the result of Simpson’s trouble with the law after a large amount of drugs was delivered to his home.
Simpson’s quote is a far cry from the “I’m just grateful to have another opportunity” type of quotes we were getting after he signed with the Vikings, and that is really disappointing to me.
So, now that I have done the second-best thing I do – harp on players like a mother hen – let me do what I actually do best… provide irresponsibly wild speculation.
For a rebuilding year, the 4-2 Vikings are surprisingly close to first place in the NFC North and, by all appearances, are capable of beating any team on any given Sunday if the stars align properly.
One of those stars that could possibly be in line? How does Dwayne Bowe sound?
The Chiefs star receiver reportedly wants out of Kansas City and there are even some rumors already that he could be part of a pre-deadline deal to Miami, a logical landing spot. If, however, the Vikings win their next two games (which I fully expect them to) and they are ever-so-close to a playoff spot then they may also become a logical spot for the 28 year old receiver.
Bowe is a big, physical receiver that is capable of stretching the field… just not in the traditional speed-based sort of way. He is durable, as he has played in all but five games over five and a half seasons, and always seems to contribute at a high level no matter how poorly his team, and quarterbacks, are playing.
Bowe has had maturity issues of his own in the not-so-distant past, but I just can’t imagine him being anything but the perfect complement to Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph. It just seems logical.
What might not seem so logical, once known, is Kansas City’s asking price and Bowe’s contract desires. That could be a major hiccup in any deal, with any team they try and deal with, but for now I just can’t help but think I am not way off base here… and in a week or two we might be hearing from major media outlets about Minnesota as a potential landing spot for Bowe.
After all, the last time we swung a blockbuster deal with the Chiefs for a troubled talent in his prime, it worked out pretty well.
Gosh, is it just me or was this an incredibly boring set of early games? At the time I am writing this, the Eagles are beating the Lions, so there’s that.
VIKINGS: QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, WR Jairus Wright, CB Brandon Burton, S Mistral Raymond, LB Marvin Mitchell, OL Mark Asper, WR Jerome Simpson
REDSKINS: WR Pierre Garçon, S Brandon Meriweather, QB Rex Grossman, G Josh LeRibeus, CB Cedric Griffin, G Adam Gettis, DE Doug Worthington
Jerome Simpson and Pierre Garcon both being inactive is huge for both defenses. The downfield game could really suffer, and both teams will be focused on each other’s running backs and tight ends. Expect a lot of today’s action to take place between the hash marks.
NOTE: Unfortunately, there will be no live chat today, enjoy the game everybody! SKOL!
Last week, I predicted that the Vikings would beat the Titans by a score of 30-19 and Brett predicted a score of 27–21. As we all know, they exceeded even these lofty expectations and ended up thumping the Titans 30-7.
This moved Minnesota to a surprising 4-1 record and they are now drawing the national attention that we never thought we would get this season.
Meanwhile, the Redskins put up a good fight against the high flying Falcons but ultimately fell to 2-3 after Robert Griffin III got knocked out of the game with a concussion.
Now, these two upstart squads face each other in D.C. and we want to explore all the different items of note that could impact the outcome.
This preseason, the Vikings lost two young offensive players to injury that have yet to play in a regular season NFL game.
Offensive tackle DeMarcus Love has to have a torn pectoral muscle operated on last month and only recently regained full motion and will soon begin his rehabilitation. Love was a sixth round selection from Arkansas in 2011.
“This is my last week in my sling,” Love said on Thursday. “So, now, it’s just basically starting the rehab and getting everything back stronger.”
“It’s frustrating, but I can’t dwell on it,” Love continued. “Got to go ahead and move forward. It is what it is.”
Fourth round 2012 selection Greg Childs, also out of Arkansas, tore the patellar tendons in both knees on the same play this preseason. He was spotted this week rehabbing his knees at Winter Park, and by all accounts was walking well with a positive attitude.
“I like to do things that people think other people can’t do,” Childs told reporters. “I’ve got a strong head. You can ask any of the players in here. I come in here attitude good every day and trying to get right, trying to get back on the field. I’m going to do everything I can to step back on the field for next season.”
The Vikings will certainly welcome that added competition that Love and Childs would bring to their respective positions next preseason, and if their rehabs go as well as these two hope they will then the two might be ready to legitimately compete for roster spots next August.